Wedding Planning with Our Mothers

The Weddingbee boards have had quite a few threads in recent weeks about mothers who haven’t met expectations during their daughter’s engagements. We’re in a period when scores of newly engaged women are embarking on the planning process (the holidays, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day seem to create a proposal bonanza) and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the mother-daughter relationship during wedding planning.

Most of us have grown up with pretty powerful messages about how wedding planning will work. We think our mothers will be by our sides constantly during this entire process. We may even think that planning with our mothers will improve our relationships with them. We believe our wedding day will allow us to feel the pinnacle of motherly love and affection.

007-bri

Image by Manuel Meszarvits

Some of our mothers will meet our lofty expectations. For many, though, our expectations are impossibly high.

We’ve chosen to believe those messages we got when we were younger and we’re crushed when the reality isn’t what we anticipated.

Despite knowing Mama Mink for 34 years, I was blindsided by her reaction to my phone call announcing that Mr. Mink proposed. I forgot to add that after she asked when we would get married, she told me that she had two other weddings to attend in the next year. I told her that I would hope her daughter’s wedding would take precedence over the weddings of the daughters of a friend. I laughed when I said this, but inside, I was deeply hurt.

Mama Mink isn’t a girly-girl. She’s a prim and proper woman who isn’t very demonstrative. I knew this, but for some reason, I expected her to morph into a bubbly, excited girlfriend who’d be fired up for wedding planning. I set myself up by expecting my mother to be someone she can’t be.

emily_r

From Style Me Pretty / Image by Kristin Light Photographie

The little girl inside us wants our mothers by our side throughout this entire process, but we sometimes need to remember that as adults, we don’t need them there. I think it’s fine to grieve a little bit over shattered expectations, but then we will move forward with vendor meetings and decision making like mature, independent women.

In time, I became thankful that Mr. Mink and I were able to plan our wedding together. I love the thought of being the hosts of our wedding and I see my mother’s lack of involvement in planning as giving her freedom to enjoy her day. She won’t be worrying about vendors or time-lines at our wedding. She’ll be our honored guest.

jenna_d

From Style Me Pretty / Image by Lindsay Carole Photography

How have you involved your mother in wedding planning? Did your expectations for your mother’s involvement in your planning process sync up with reality?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Mink

Location:
Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
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  1. Member
    Miss Peacock Feather 40 posts, Newbee @ 11:48 am

    This is a great post and with 4 months to go, I just came to terms with this. I wish I would have understood my mom a little better earlier in the planning process, I could have avoided some disappointments. However, I do enjoy planning this with my future hubby and she has come around in her own way. So when she is interested and asking questions, I let her have her moment.

  2. Member
    zippitydoodah 210 posts, Helper bee @ 12:01 pm

    I don’t think I had lofty ideas of how my mom should be involved with the wedding planning. Neither of us are girly girls (so, I knew there would be no tears with wedding dress shopping for instance) and I love planning things so didn’t really need help. If anything, she’s been more into the details than I thought. However, she told me right away that her and my father would not attend if it were in anything but a Catholic Church, nor would she help out financially. She also cried when I was going to get ready in a hotel and told all of her friends and family about how awful of a daughter I was (I didn’t even THINK about it hurting her- I haven’t lived at home for 12 years and my bedroom is now a sewing room with a futon…). I’ve been very hurt by her reactions, and I don’t think that it has anything to do with my having too high of expectations… but maybe expecting her to be happy for me no matter what IS too high? I do understand why she’s upset, I’m kind of breaking the mold with my family

  3. Member
    hosannac 194 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:03 pm

    I totally relate to this issue, but in a different way. I grew up very independent — my mom was a single mother with four kids and a more-than-full-time job. Now I live 700 miles away. I never expected her to be a big part of planning the wedding. Of course she would be consulted and someone I could bounce ideas off of, but that was our understanding with each other. My MIL, on the other hand, who lives in the same town we did, was upset at times that she wasn’t involved. DH reminded me a few times I should involve her. Families are just different and that’s part of the challenge!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    melissa, Guest @ 12:04 pm

    Thanks for writing this post! I really appreciate your insight. I had been feeling “disappointed” with my mom’s lack of involvement. I know she wishes she could be more involved, but she just doesn’t have the resources or time (she works 50 hours a week).

  5. Member
    Miss Orchard 2467 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:08 pm

    This is such a great post. I actually had the opposite experience, but one that has affected me the same way.

    My mother is a very prim, proper, shy person. She has embraced this wedding planning process with vigor to a fault – she’s incredibly opinionated and is acting as if this is her second wedding…complete will insisting we plan things that are outside of our budget.

    I love her deeply, but this wedding has driven her into fits of rage, threats, etc. when our opinions differ.

    Overall, I think this time is made out to be a great bonding experience, and people feel as if they are doing something “wrong” when it isn’t…I couldn’t agree more. We are adults, we can do this…

  6. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:09 pm

    @Miss Peacock Feather: Exactly what I think many of us need to learn to do. When there’s interest, we happily let our mothers join in the planning, but we don’t expect our mothers’ worlds to revolve around us for the duration of our engagement.

    @zippitydoodah: I’m so sorry your dealing with this. I imagine it’s hard for our parents to see us making our own decisions and not following in their footsteps exactly.

    @hosannac: It’s definitely hard when everyone is in close proximity with different expectations! Good luck with the rest of your planning!

    @melissa: I had to take a step back myself and look at things objectively. My mother is six hours away and is almost 70 years old. We’re starting to reverse roles, as typically happens when our parents get older.

  7. Member
    p2thedoodle 103 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:16 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I needed to read it so badly. While talking about planning, my mother is never very enthused, and can’t wait to get off the phone. She actually suggested that we should elope, so that they don’t have to fly down.

    It’s been so disappointing. I guess I thought the same way, that our relationship might improve, but I find myself wondering if it will be any different for my brothers when they get married. I’ve thought that maybe, it’s just me. She has never really seemed to like me all that much, and maybe asking her to be happy for me is too much.

    I needed to realize that my expectations are too high, and this post will help me to move forward, knowing it’s like this for many other women. Thank you!

  8. Member
    unicycle 476 posts, Helper bee @ 12:17 pm

    Thank you for this post, Mink! I had some pretty lofty expectations for a lot of people, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that me and my wedding are not the center of the universe for anyone besides myself, and a lot of people just don’t know that much about weddings (must not read enough Weddingbee?) so they didn’t even know I had these expectations. I’m learning more as I grow up that expectations ruin everything!

  9. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:24 pm

    @Miss Orchard: I think someone should study mother-daughter relationships during this time. The changes are amazing, no matter how old we are.

    @P2TheDoodle: I think sometimes, people say things that downplay the importance of an occasion because they’re overwhelmed or scared of the changes that are on the horizon. I imagine it’s shocking to realize that you are old enough to have a daughter getting married.

    @Miss Unicycle: Agreed. Managing expectations…such a huge task.

  10. Member
    Red Poppy 21 posts, Newbee @ 1:10 pm

    Great post! I can totally relate, but I guess the difference between your experience and mine is that I expected from the beginning that my mother would not be at all hands-on in my wedding planning. My sister was married in 2003 and she was also very hands-off, and that’s just how she is. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about us or our weddings, but she doesn’t care to know all the little details, or get excited about plans or parties. I love your point about your mom being able to just enjoy your wedding as a guest of honor and not having to worry about tending to attending to details. And it can make things easier for us!

  11. Member
    Coffee cup 2319 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:35 pm

    My parents shattered my expectations rejecting my wedding (not my marriage) saying it was a waste of money. Eventually they came around and are now as involved as they can be without smothering us.

  12. Member
    SnowflakeDS 334 posts, Helper bee @ 1:47 pm

    My mother and I butted heads early on in the planning process, because I expected to be making my own decisions while she was following the spirit of the mother planning her daughter’s wedding, as was her case.
    We’ve worked it out. I get to research, meet, and consult but will always call her up to inform her of my progress an ask her advice.
    I really enjoy wedding planning because I know she has my back.

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    NewMrsL, Guest @ 1:52 pm

    My mom only complained about the wedding, start to finish. I was (and still am) very hurt.

  14. Member
    loberle 36 posts, Newbee @ 1:55 pm

    OMG!! I totally needed this post! I have had a few breakdowns, one was lastnight…because I felt like no one, including my mother and soon to be mother-in-law didn’t care. However, your right I am having fun planning our wedding with my soon-to-be husband. Sometimes I just need to remember that. I know that either of our mothers would do anything for us, if we asked them to.

  15. Member
    amethystmeg 235 posts, Helper bee @ 2:16 pm

    Thanks! I have to say that I probably had too high of an expectation for how my mother and fiance would feel about the wedding. It hurt to realize that. However, I realize that other people care about weddings as much as I do…which is why this online place is so amazing. Secondly, I think my FMIL has too many expectations about what our wedding will be. I think she wants it to be the wedding she never had. She even calls her dress, her wedding dress… which is so weird to me. But, as you said, we just need to take what we get because there’s love there whether they are not enthused or overly enthused about the wedding.

  16. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:07 pm

    @Red Poppy: Thanks! As soon as I had that thought, my perspective really changed. :)

    @Coffee cup: Aw, I’m glad they came around!

    @SnowflakeDS: Isn’t it fascinating that some women DO plan their daughters’ weddings? On RHOBH, it seemed as those the mother had more interaction with the wedding planner than the daughter. That might be a function of the daughter’s age, though.

    @NewMrsL: I’m so sorry! Post on the boards…we’ll all swoon over your wedding!!!

    @loberle: We all know the saying that you’re the only one who cares about your wedding as much as you do, but I think we sometimes assume that doesn’t include our mothers, that our mothers will be right on board with us.

    @amethystmeg: Exactly. Even I have had to remind myself a few times over the last year.

  17. Member
    lisaelanna 528 posts, Busy bee @ 3:22 pm

    I didn’t really have any expectations that my mom would help me plan my wedding and only found out through my father a couple weeks before the wedding that my mom felt hurt that I hadn’t included her more (even though I was planning from a distance and she was working nearly every time I came back to town for appointments…and I did, of course, include her in dress shopping).

    The one thing I did really want to have with my mom was the getting dressed time. I wanted her to put me in my dress and do the buttons and for us to have those pictures and that time together. But when it came time for that step it turned out that my mom had spent the morning tying up loose ends at the reception hall and only had time to get herself dressed and no time to spend with me. I think, honestly, that not letting my mom know how important that time was to me may be the one regret I have from my wedding day (except maybe to have stocked the limo with more champagne, lol).

  18. Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:42 pm

    I’m in a slightly different boat – I actually feel this way about my father; I see and hear all these wonderful things about a father-daughter dance and the dad giving away his daughter – but we won’t have any of that (another story for another time!). It’s definitely hard when you are surrounded by how it’s “supposed” to be with parents, and you don’t fit that mold. I also wish my mom could be more present, but it’s hard with her being so far away and having a busier life than myself and Foxy do combined!

  19. Member
    miss.sarah 49 posts, Newbee @ 3:45 pm

    I had always imagined that my Mum would be well and truly a part of every inch of my wedding planning…however, just after I got engaged, she got breast cancer and is currently going through treatment. She’s still trying to help in every way she can but I am trying to make sure she doesn’t take on too much because she isn’t well. My expectations were once high, but now I’ve let those go because of the current situation. And she does still surprise me – she made it to my wedding dress shopping day with my BMs and it was a wonderfully fun day :) My only real hope is that she’s well enough to enjoy the wedding later this year.

  20. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 3:50 pm

    Such a wonderful post, Mink. I think keeping expectations in line with the reality in all stages of wedding planning is a good plan, but especially with family members.

  21. Member
    Aud1628 540 posts, Busy bee @ 4:07 pm

    Thank-you so much for this post, so much in the wedding world you see the more traditional mom/daughter and father/daughter relationships playing a big role in the process of planning the wedding and within the wedding too, but so many of us do not have that, I come from a very untraditional family and have a unique story which never bothered me until my wedding, I realized so many things that I’ve missed out on and it makes me a little sad but on the other hand I am so blessed to have my fiance help me along the way and also that he has a wonderful family that love me and have accepted me as one of their own!

  22. Member
    likelimeade 753 posts, Busy bee @ 4:23 pm

    Thank you for this post! My mom has been exactly what I hoped she would be every step of the way, but my FMIL has definitely not. When I showed her a picture of my dress, she said, “That’s nice. What should I wear? I was thinking ivory…” Any time I ask her for her opinion or advice, she just says, “It’s your wedding.” Um, thanks a lot…it was hard for me to come to terms with too, but at least I know I won’t have a pushy MIL who will try to be all up in my bizness!

  23. Member
    Missbliss 872 posts, Busy bee @ 10:41 pm

    Interesting reading… I feel so blessed to call my mom a dear and true friend. I’m always surprised to find that it isn’t that way with others, but I do understand it. My mom has been refining her wedding planning skills for years, and really can’t figure out the need for wedding planners. Which is kinda funny considering that I’d like to start a event planning business!

  24. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:11 pm

    I had a mother break down a few months ago – and my mother cried and said how hard it was being a parent to adults. I still don’t know what she means but for her it is difficult. My Mom is the best Mommy to so many little kids, I can only imagine she wants us to look at her with those all knowing eyes.
    My mother has complained and in many ways sabotaged the plans I have worked so hard on, but I am so Far Away from her, I sometimes forget all she has going on at home. Basically, I know she is happy for us. I know she loves me unconditionally, we don’t have the same vision for this wedding or our lives, but I know she wants to be a part of it, and she is thrilled to be so.
    Wonderful Post Miss Mink – Thank you for it!

  25. Member
    runninginpink 45 posts, Newbee @ 11:53 am

    I feel like just the opposite with me and my mom. I live about 5 hours away from my parents, and they graciously suggested we have the wedding where Fiance and I live instead of where I grew up. I have been so used to doing everything on my own I just dove into planning with out realizing how much SHE wanted to be involved and how much SHE felt left out. Since then I have tried to make her feel like part of the planning and I cannot wait to have her with me that weekend.

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    k8e, Guest @ 1:08 pm

    great post, mrs. mink!

    i had always hoped my mom would be super interested and involved, but unfortunately she was diagnosed with early on-set dementia shortly after i graduated from college. she wasn’t involved in the planning – nor in the dressing and prep for the big day. it made me sad, but i’m just glad i was able to have her physically present on the day.

    that was important for me to think about.

  27. Member
    JuneBride2012 536 posts, Busy bee @ 4:06 pm

    This is such a great post, Miss Mink.

  28. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:40 pm

    @lisaelanna: Aw, I’m sorry. I hope others read your comment and are inspired to talk to their moms about what both want from the planning process. :)

    @Miss Fox: I don’t think you’re alone! There are loads of threads about fathers on the boards. I honestly think people are almost shamed into silence when their parents aren’t perfect…but we’re human. We have baggage. We have to give each other permission not to fit the strict roles that we’ve be led to believe are “normal.”

    @miss.sarah: I hope so, too! Best wishes to your mom!

    @Mrs. Pony: Agreed. Managing expectations is so important.

  29. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:53 pm

    @Aud1628: Looking at the comments here, it seems like the vast majority of us have parents who are totally human…meaning imperfect. The wedding blogs just show us snapshots from the day. People are too complex for relationships to be perfect all the time, but the pictures might lead us to believe that.

    @likelimeade: Aw, good luck with your FMIL!

    @Missbliss: I think most would say their mothers are dear and true friends…but some are not physically near us or capable of planning a wedding and I think we are seeing the reversal of roles that others may see later in life.

    @Miss Ke Aloha: I think this is so, so common! You are not alone.

    @runninginpink: Aw, your poor mom! She sounds great. :)

    @k8e: I’m so sorry, k8e. I really hope she is well enough to attend when the times comes.

    @JuneBride2012: Thanks, JuneBride. :)

  30. Member
    Bernie06 5 posts, Newbee @ 11:47 pm

    Relationships during our wedding planning, at the wedding and even after the big day are going to change. Things we never expected or knew could happen, will and it’s not always all bad or all good. I highly recommend for all BRIDES-TO-BE to read this book:

    The Conscious Bride: Women Unveil Their True Feelings about Getting Hitched
    Author: Sheryl Paul

    There’s so many parts of this book that gets straight to the heart of explaining WHY I’m feeling the way I do. Things I had a difficult time putting into words but knew I was feeling were all here and I felt so…relieved! I’m not the only one! It’s normal! The best parts was reading true stories from other brides about how their experiences were and lets say, not all of them were pretty or follows the image many of us were brought up to believe. I love the honesty in this book and recommend it highly. It’s put so many things in perspective for me and helped me ease through this process. Planning a wedding isn’t all about going down your to-do list. It’s about you, your husband and the relationships around you.

  31. Member
    awesomeryl 32 posts, Newbee @ 7:02 pm

    In the beginning, when everything was green grass & pastures, mother was involved in everything. Why (considering our history & relationship) I thought things were suddenly going to go smooth? I have no idea. Maybe it is the fairytale ending I’d want to end all the ‘bad’ years my mother & I have gone through. Well, in what should have been no surprise to me (or Mr. Meryl), things quickly went from, “Yay! We’re getting married!” to (a midst crying after crying day x three weeks) “Can we just do it in Vegas?”

    The last straw was when she insulted FH’s parents over $, and well, then we decided to do everything ourselves (she’s only paying for the few friends she’s bringing). Being too awkward of a position for my dad to play middle man to, we agreed that this is the best way. Now, with six months to go, I just wish we made this decision before she had put the deposit on the hotel SHE wanted, but well, c’est la vie.

    Things have definitely gotten better (not to say there’s no room for improvement!) – my dad has definitely drilled it in her head that this day is about ME & MR., not about her, her ego and her family. False hope continues to make me wish she’ll bloom into this beautiful, calming, wonderful piece of the wedding, but, well, for now, I’ll take the fact that she’s not barraging down my door (even at work!) with how everything is not to her liking, not in the colors she likes, not fancy enough for her, blah blah blah.

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    Mrs. P., Guest @ 8:06 pm

    Wow. It was really good for me to read all this.

    My mother was also distant during my w edding planning. She always favored my brother over me so it didn’t really surprise me. We’ve never been close. Still, for some reason, we do tend to think our mothers will suddenly become our closest friend once we get engaged.

    My mother not only said they would not be helping in any way, but also said we should pick a date that best suits them and that I should buy HER dress as well as pay for my dads tux rental!!!!!!
    No, they’re not poor in any way either! I was so mad at her. But I didn’t show it. I kept a smile and a sweet attitude the whole way through.

    Finally, a month before the wedding, se tried to break me and my fiancé up!!!! Turns out she just wasn’t happy for me. And not because of anything I’ve done to her, but rather because she just isn’t happy in her life and didnt want me to be either. Misery truly loves company.

    Some mothers arrive to make sure their daughters have a better life than they did and that’s the car for most. But others, sadly, get jealous if their daughter ends up happier then them. It’s a shame.

    She didn’t even come to my wedding. That was 2 years ago and you know what, looking back, I see that she is the one who misused out and that I had a very wonderful weding day! It was perfect. :)

    You can’t let yourself stop living or enjoying special moments in life because someone else isn’t sharing your happiness. It’s disappointing yes, but you can’t let it rule you or define your wedding day!

    The Thing to remember is to stay focused. Focused on the main goal and that is to marry the man of your dreams! As long as you both say “I DO” and become Mr.&Mrs, that’s all that truly matters. :)

    It was good for me to see though that there are other women with less than loving mothers. Your burden doesn’t seem so bad web you see that others carry the same or similar thing.

    Thank you all for sharing. :)

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    Christina, Guest @ 8:52 am

    My mother has been completely unpredictable. Either she’s got multiple personalities, or she has early onset Alzheimer’s. So far: She’s banned me from bringing my FMIL to shop for dresses because she is my mother, not her. She denies ever saying that now. She’s asked her boss (a doctor) to be my photographer, told me after the fact and yelled at me for saying I had to see his work and to run things like this by me BEFORE “hiring” anyone. She’s demanded that she invite everyone she’s ever met (damn near) to the wedding. Including, but not limited to a co-worker she hasn’t worked with in 18 years, and probably hasn’t seen in at least 5-7 years. Apparently, she also feels my family isn’t involved in the wedding (I haven’t picked my party or even got a venue yet), and wants me to force my fiance to ask my brother to be a groomsman (when he has 4 brothers of his own). I guess her daughter being THE BRIDE isn’t enough. And I’m apparently a Bridezilla for saying anything other than “Yes mother”. Not sure what to make of all of this. Just chalking it up to excitement I guess. But it’s exhausting.

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    Melinda, Guest @ 9:55 am

    Oh, my goodness when I saw this post I definitely had to read it. I can totally relate to it in more ways in one. My mother has thankfully started to recently help take charge on helping with my wedding, which is taking place next month. However, my MOH on the other hand has sadly been a true disappoinment in not being involved in much of anything. What makes it worse that my MOH is my only sister. She’s has alot going on in her personal life, which I totally sympathize with and I have been there for her over the years. I guess me assuming since I had been there to help her out when she’s need me time after time I figured she would be there for me when I needed her most. However, that hasn’t been the case for me. I’ve tried to get her to become more involved, but sadly she just doesn’t seem interested and I’m beginning to feel she could careless about one of the biggest days in my life. For the most part we’ve been very close growing up, but unfortunately these past few months have not been what I envisioned at all. I’m trying not to let it bother me, but honsestly it’s breaking my heart and I’ve had my share of breakdowns. On the brighter side I’m grateful that my future hubby has been there for me (through breakdowns and all). He’s been apart of our entire wedding planning and I appreciate every bit of his involvement. I don’t know what I do without him.

  35. Guest Icon Guest
    Mrs +P., Guest @ 1:10 pm

    @Christina: @Christina: @Christina:
    I totally understand what you’re saying. I’ve done enough weddings now though to realize that mothers most often have been planning their daughters weddings longer than the daughter has. Like from birth. Being a mother, my son is only 8 yet I already find myself wondering who he will end up with and will she be good to him, will she and I get along, will they have kids, what will their wedding be like, etc. we want the best for our children. The thing is though, we all have our own idea of what “the best” is. We may have one idea while our motets have a whole other idea.
    Over all though, the fact always remains that emotions run high during the engagement season and it is important to har a mediator. Like a wedding planner outside of the family.

    Its important to be honest yet loving. Remember that she probably means well. But her baby girl is getting married. Thats a HUGE day in the life of a mom.

    Good luck!

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    SMB43, Guest @ 12:32 pm

    It’s always good to keep your expectations in check because my expectations out of life and people are usually too high, and the let down is disappointing. Luckily, my expectations were exceeded by my mom. I knew she would be happy and involved, but without realizing it, we have gotten closer. We love each other, of course, but despite the fact that I grew up a “Momma’s Girl”, we never had a really close relationship. We have lived about 9 hours apart for almost 5 years now, and only spoke on the phone about once a month, and only came home for Christmas and a week or so in the summer. Since I got engaged a year ago, our bond has become stronger, we talk more, and I appreciate her more. I am so grateful for everything she is doing (and has done) for me.

  37. Guest Icon Guest
    soexcitedtobegettingmarried, Guest @ 10:24 am

    I am having quite a strange problem. I don’t want any help with wedding planning! I have never been a micro-manager before, but this time, I really want it to be all my and my fiance’s doing. I don’t even really need help because I’ve got a while before the wedding. So far neither my mother or my FMIL have been too insistent, but I feel like I should delegate at least some responsibility on them. Am I correct? Is it weird for them not to be involved?

  38. Member
    SoCalBelle 101 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:29 am

    I know this is an old thread but this topic always catches my eye because it’s my biggest anxiety about getting married. My FMIL is sooo opposite of my mom – she’s the kind that’s always winking and hinting to all of her children and their SO’s about marriage, grandchildren… She can’t wait.

    My mom on the other hand, is a volatile pendulum of hyper-opinionated and cold/rejecting. My fiancé is convinced she’s undiagnosed bipolar (conveniently she ” doesn’t believe in psychologists so it’s unlikely to be tested or resolved). My parents are fairly well off and she doesn’t have to work. Still she’s generally miserable when it comes to any family matters- she’s always talking badly about everyone else and when I come to visit for holidays she seriously goes back and forth about a) insisting I must hate her if I haven’t planned to stay longer in their home or b) telling me I should get my own hotel room…multiple back and forths.

    I think I’m just going to ask my dad to talk things over wih her and let me know on both their behaves what aspects are important to them so that I can honor them. The rest I’m hoping to take care of myself with the help of friends FMIL and maybe a planner too.

    Thanks to everyone who posted here,it’s very comforting and inspiring , and @Bernie06 I am always glad to find book recommendations. Another thread led me to one I too now HIGHLY recommend called “Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” By Dr. Karyl McBride. I’m still not comfortable saying (even in my head) that my mom has NPD possibly, but it’s not what you’d think it’s not about being vain, but moreso if your mom’s criticisms come from a place of not acknowledging you as a separate person and/or worrying more about what others think of her based on your choices.

  39. Member
    honeybeelove 329 posts, Helper bee @ 6:02 am

    I am struggling with the whole mother dynamic as well, but for a slightly different (but mostly similar) way. My dad was told he needs an organ transplant right around the same time FH proposed. So needless to say, the first 6 months of our engagement hasn’t been all flowers and singing birds. My mom told me “it is hard to wrap my head around planning a wedding and dealing with your father”. Now, of course that sounds completely logical. But, knowing my mother, well, there is always a backstory to it. My dad is in stable condidtion, and my mother is known for dwelling on the negative of every situation and every person. She always has something bad to say about other people, and makes fun of me for being a postitive, peaceful person (ugh, I know). I invited her, my dad, and my sister to try on wedding gowns, and (not sure why i’m surprised here, but I was) my sister was the only one to get really excited. My mom claimed she “had a bladder infection coming on” (which never transpired into anything—just an excuse for her being distant) and positioned herself into the corner and when I had to beg her for a reaction, she said “you know what you want better than I do”. … really? That’s all I get? On numerous occasions I’ve tried to ask her about wedding stuff, and she just hands me files from my other siblings’ weddings. I have tried to show her pictures of dresses or decorations, and she sighs “more wedding stuff??” (!!!) I tell her I am meeitng up with my sister to plan wedding stuff, and she’s like “oh, sure don’t include me” but when I genuinely encourage her to come, she said, “no, that’s ok, some other time”. I just don’t get it. I am left to plan on my own (with the help of you wonderful bees!!! and sometimes my sister). I will never understand the mother/daughter dynamic, but I am glad to know its not just me, and that I can come to the hive for support! Thanks gals!

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